HISTORY: An impromptu visit to Granada's largest public school, Escuela Carlos A. Bravo, in December 2009 has evolved into an organization of family, friends, colleagues and partners that support educators in their mission to provide a quality education and healthy environment to thousands of public school students in Granada, Nicaragua. In 2013 we were granted 501(c)(3) status in the U.S. and in 2017 were were approved as an international NGO by the government of Nicaragua.
Escolar Carlos A. Bravo in Granada serves more than 1,000 students from PreSchool through Grade 8 – providing an education as well as meals and uniforms to students who could not otherwise afford them. In an area where the basic necessities (clean water, food, shelter) are difficult to obtain, education has a huge impact on the future of these students and their families. As a nucleus school, the directors of the school also oversee instruction and professional development of surrounding schools.
As our organization has grown, we have supported initiatives in more than 14 schools - ranging from small projects with 10 schools on Las Isletas to a 3 year preventative dental pilot involving more than 2,000 students in 4 schools.
OUR MODEL: We meet with school directors on a regular basis to identify the schools' most pressing needs and develop short and long term project plans. Past projects have included a library addition, PreK classroom and bathroom, water system installation in 4 bathrooms and 12 water fountains, replacing the open wood firepit with a propane-fueled stove, water purification installations, and playground renovation.
OUR GOAL FOR 2020 is to build a free tech center and dental clinic where we can house a middle school robotics program as well as a free dental clinic to supplement the preventative program underway with NYU Dental College Global Outreach.
RESOURCES: We carry in school supplies, computers, and books instead of personal luggage on each visit and
regularly ship in partial containers of paper, books, and other supplies with the support of Peaceworks. Early on, we personally funded many of the projects with the help of family, friends and colleagues.
PARTNERSHIPS:However, as we demonstrated success with each project, we have been able to facilitate partnerships that have benefited the students: donations of food from Feed the Children of Nicaragua, bi-annual donation of shoes from TOMs, and most recently partnering on projects with NYU Dental College Global Outreach and CommunityBots of NYC with the support of the International Foundation. These partnerships have enabled us to expand our efforts significantly - both in terms of scope and reach. We remain committed to the principle that 100% of donations go directly to supporting our efforts in the schools. We will not be in the business of "being a non-profit".
Please join us in helping these phenomenal educators transform the lives of their students and families by building a path to future health and success.
Kati Davis and Hector Perez
Hector Pérez is Co-founder and Treasurer of the Board and the principal director of Tecnologia Global, Inc. in Chicago - supplying water treatment systems and equipment to Latin America and also acts as a consultant to several major U.S. water bottling companies. Hector has taught children with special needs in New York City in conjunction with programs run by Bank Street and holds a B.S. from NYU.
Kati Davis is Co-Founder and President of the Board and was Executive Director in the Office of Strategic Management at the College Board in NYC and is lead founder/board president of Jersey City Global Charter School in NJ. She has a background in educational and consumer publishing - and led teams developing innovative instructional programs for AP, McGraw Hill and KIPP Schools. Kathy received a M.S. at Rensselaer Polytech.
Milena Auxiliadora Zeledon Varela is Senior Director of Escuela Carlos Bravo (1,000 students) and surrounding rural schools. She has a BS and Masters in Primary Education from Normal Ricardo Morales Aviles and a diploma in Administrative Management. Milena has been a docent in primary schools for the past 32 years where she has been a director as well as a teacher.
Javier Mendoza Lopez is Sub Director of Escolar Carlos Bravo. Javier has taught for 10 years. He was the Primary Docent at the Cedric Marti School (Las Isletas) and was a Technician at the Ministry of Education for 2 years. He also teaches linguistic pedagogy at the University of Managua.
Jamal Stockton is VP Strategy and Planning in the Legal Division of Fidelity Investments' Enterprise Legal and IT divisions in Boston. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University and is a serious amateur photographer.
Jennifer Rafferty directs development for Online Learning Consortium’s Institute for Professional Development and was responsible for instructional design and Spanish Instructor for the School of Nursing at Quinnipiac College. She served as translator for Albert Schweitzer Institute for medical programs held in Guatemala and Nicaragua. She holds an M. Ed. in Instructional Design from the University of Mass., M.A. in Spanish from the Univ. of Wisconsin.
A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña, has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña's writing has appeared on All About Jazz, Jazz.com, Latin Jazz Network, Hot House and Chamber Music America magazines. He has also worked in radio as the host of Under the Radar on WFDU 89.1 FM and infused his local community with musical knowledge as a member of The New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Advisory Board.
Réne David is a Spanish Instructor at New York University and has taught Spanish at SUNY, Marymount College and many high schools and hospitals in the NYC area. He is a certified medical interpreter and also has extensive experience as a legal and court interpreter. He holds a B.S. in Maritime Engineering (Havana, Cuba). As a fiber artist and dancer, he has presented at the American Museum of Natural History, El Museo del Barrio, City College and Columbia University.